In Perpetuum [Harry Potter]

COMPLETED: Harry Potter Fanfiction. Hermione is sent back in time to the Marauder's Era. What will happen when she does not have Harry around to provide information and clues about Voldemort? Some Lily/James, Remus/OC.

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19. Non Perfecto

NOT BEING PERFECT

3RD YEAR

 

Hermione was waiting in the entrance foyer of Hogwarts castle. She watched Sirius approach her apprehensively from the opposite side of the Hall. His hands were stuffed into his pockets as he edged closer to her. An outsider would be hard put to identify them as once having been friends.

"Are you ready to go?" he asked her in a voice that lacked its usual robustness.

"Yes," said Hermione speaking so softly that she may as well have whispered it.

They walked out the front door of the castle side by side. Neither of them said a word.

They handed over their signed notes to Professor McGonagall and headed out the gates and towards the village.

Hermione, desperate to dispel the tension between them, brought up the topic of the approaching Christmas holidays and of course, Christmas itself.

She was dismayed to learn that Sirius would not be spending Christmas at the Manor, as he had done in the previous years. When probed by Hermione, his excuse was that he was needed at home.

Having experienced Walburga Black's portrait for a brief period during her fifth year, she prodded no further into the matter. Fortunately Sirius brought up the topic of Christmas presents.

"I already bought James his gift. I'm awaiting Remus' – I got it by owl order. I just need to get something for Peter, and you of course."

Hermione turned a deep shade of magenta.

"You don't have to get me anything if you don't want to."

"I do want to," said Sirius smiling for the first time that day, "It's Christmas and you deserve an awesome present."

This did nothing to lighten the flush on Hermione's face.

They chatted for a few minutes about what to get Peter, finally deciding to pool their resources together and buy him a payback gift. Hermione wanted to return the favour for last year's jewellery box, and Hermione couldn't be more pleased to have permission to find him something that was truly ghastly.

When they arrived in Hogsmeade they firstly stocked up on a few essentials, mostly from Honeydukes and the potion supply store. This was followed by a visit to the stationary store because Hermione had already used up her years' supply of parchment.

Whilst browsing amongst the shelves, she came across the most handsome quill set she had ever laid eyes on. It was a mahogany tablet that held together all the parchment pages you were writing on, with a little space to rest your ink pot. Towering above it all was the most beautiful phoenix feather quill. The deep crimson and vibrant orange stood out impressively against the darker tones of the wood. It resembled Fawkes' tail, only this one was more spectacular.

She gasped when she saw it, but her eyes lingered on the price tag. It was taunting her, telling that that this was yet another thing she could not have in her life. Ma and Pa were undoubtedly wealthy, but Hermione did not want to spend her adolescence sponging off their generosity.

She let go of the tag and let her hand droop with it. It was a visible sign of her disappointment which was not misread by Sirius.

He had just made his way back to her after finding a horrendous looking calendar with twelve pictures of famous witches and wizards that spoke to you every time you crossed off the day. Sirius was planning to 'improve' it by making them say embarrassing words.

"Do you really like it that much?" Sirius asked her, a sombre tone in his usually cheery voice.

"It is absolutely beautiful, and practical too."

Sirius chuckled at this.

"Trust you to want the most practical items as gifts."

"Hey!" said Hermione as she playfully batted him across the arm.

For the first time since that morning, the mood had been lifted considerably and they were both laughing and full of mirth.

"Come on," said Sirius, still quietly chuckling, "Let's go to the Three Broomsticks and get ourselves warm."

From that point on they resumed the same carefree attitude they had always had with each other, however, there was the added benefit of being able to hold hands and lean into one another for comfort and warmth.

They entered the bar and were greeted by a warm swish of air and the creamy smell of hot butterbeer. Looking around brought a feeling of deep nostalgia because Rosmerta clearly had not made any change between now and 1993 when Hermione had first stepped into the bar. For a fleeting moment, Hermione believed that she had been catapulted back into the time in which she had been born.

A constant amicable persiflage created a hum around the cavernous room that was even more warming than the butterbeer.

Sirius and Hermione found an almost hidden table at the other side of the bar that shielded them from prying eyes.

They have barely been chatting for a few minutes when Hermione saw a shadow cross their table. She looked up to the source of said shadow.

"What do you want?" growled Sirius menacingly.

"Well, well, well. What do we have here? A couple of fickle third years who think they can come into the Three Broomsticks and steal our seats."

Sirius rose quickly from his chair, fists balled up tightly, glaring at the several Hogwarts students before him.

"Yeah, and what are you going to do about it?"

His face had contorted into a book of pure rage at the thought of being disrupted on his date with Hermione, which until that point had been moving along reasonably smoothly.

Hermione was tugging at the hem of Sirius' jacket. She had recognised these students as being several years above them, not to mention they were many inches taller and in Slytherin house.

Simultaneously, Hermione's eyes flicked across to the students that were confronting them. Her chocolate coloured eyes met a pair of silver eyes, and she quickly had to stifle a sharp intake of breath. It was almost a replica of Sirius, only his features were more angular, and his grey eyes were not so kind. If anything, they looked frightened at the prospect of doing anything other than pleasing the leader of the group, who was looking more and more like an over-sized walrus as time went on.

'He must have snuck out,' thought Hermione. 'He would be scared of getting caught.'

Sirius had not seemed to spot his brother just yet. He was far too pre-occupied with the walrus leader of the group.

Hermione tugged on his jacket much more fiercely, this time also whispering in the direction of his ear.

"Let's get out of here. Come on Sirius, let's go."

"Yes, ickle Sirius, why don't you go? Hmmm?"

With great effort, Sirius let out a deep breath and calmly took Hermione's hand. He pulled her along beside him as they made their way back up the High Street.

It was only when they had put quite an amount of distance between the bar and themselves that Sirius spoke.

"I'm sorry Hermione,"

"For what? It's not your fault that they thought they could lay claim on a table."

"It's not that. It's just that I wanted out first date to be perfect. Not overly romantic, but you get the idea, which oddly enough does not happen to contain a buck-toothed Slytherin".

Instead of laughing at his joke, Hermione looked up searchingly into his eyes, similar to his brother's only in colour.

"You wanted it to be perfect for me? Are you sure that I am not just your best friend's dopey sister?"

Sirius hugged Hermione tightly, wanting to seem reassuring but not overly enthusiastic.

"You could never be dopey Hermione."

With that, they set off back up the street hand in hand to the castle, each of them sporting a small, but reassuring smile.

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